Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tuesday . . .


D Shaun Heshka (Everett, 2003-06) signed a one-year contract with Red Bull Salzburg (Austria Erste Bank Liga). He had two assists in eight games with the Phoenix Coyotes (NHL) and seven goals and 26 assists in 73 games with the San Antonio Rampage (AHL) last season. . . .
F Richard Rapac (Moose Jaw, Prince George, 2006-07) signed a one-year contract with SKP Poprad (Slovakia Extraliga). He had one goal and eight assists in 18 games with Hradec Kralove (Czech Republic 1.Liga) last season. . . .
D Jason Beckett (Seattle, 1997-2000) signed a six-month artist’s contract with Västervik (Sweden Division 1). He had six goals and 33 assists in 32 games for Red Bull Salzburg II (Austria Nationalliga) last season. Beckett will report to Västervik on Oct. 1. . . .
F Mikhail Yakubov (Red Deer, 2001-02) was released by Spartak Moscow (Russia KHL). He had one goal and nine assists in 44 games with Severstal Cherepovets (Russia KHL) and Spartak last season. . . .
D Filip Novak (Regina, 1999-2002) signed a one-year contract extension with OHK Dynamo Moscow (Russia KHL). The extension keeps Novak under contract with Dynamo through next season. He had two goals and 22 assists in 52 games for HC MVD Balashikha (Russia KHL) last season. MVD and Dynamo merged after last season. . . .
The opening regular season games in the various European leagues:
Germany DEL – Sept. 3
United Kingdom Elite – Sept. 4
Russia KHL – Sept. 8
Austria Erste Bank Liga – Sept. 10
Switzerland NL A – Sept. 10
Switzerland NL B – Sept. 10
Sweden Allsvenskan – Sept. 14
Finland Mestis – Sept. 15
Sweden Elitserien – Sept. 15
Finland SM-Liiga – Sept. 16
Denmark AL-Bank Liga – Sept. 17
Germany 2.Bundesliga – Sept. 17
France Ligue Magnus – Sept. 18
Norway GET-Ligaen – Sept. 18
Italy Serie A – Sept. 23
Germany Oberliga – Sept. 24
Italy Serie A2 – Oct. 2
The Everett Silvertips are preparing to welcome F Josh Winquist, 17, back from the injury list. He had offseason shoulder surgery and should be back on the ice at some point next week. He had seven points in 50 games last season but is expected to do a whole lot better in his draft season.
Meanwhile, GM Doug Soetaert says, recently acquired Landon Ferraro “has been just fantastic. He’s electrifying.”
Ferraro was acquired from the Red Deer Rebels for Byron Froese in what was a swap of 19-year-old forwards.
Soetaert also said that F Scott MacDonald, 19, “has come a long way.”
MacDonald spent 2008-09 with the Chilliwack Bruins. Last season, with the Silvertips, he had 32 points in 60 games. More impressively, he finished plus-25.
As well, Kellan Tochkin, one of Everett’s top forwards, has lost 12 pounds “and is just flying,” according to Soetaert. Tochkin, 19, had 68 points, including 28 goals, in 72 games last season.
Soetaert also said that he has been most impressed with his club’s fitness level.
“Our guys have come back . . .we’re a month ahead in conditioning,” he said.
One player not expected to return is Czech D Radko Gudas, 20. He was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the third round of the 2010 NHL draft and has signed, so he is eligible to play in the pro team’s organization.
“I don’t expect him back,” Soetaert says. “But who knows? I know they have a lot of defencemen but I don’t expect him to be back.”
Last season, his first in the WHL, Gudas had 37 points and 151 penalty minutes in 65 games.
Gudas, were he to return, would be a two-spotter -- a 20-year-old import.
“I’ll make two spots for him any day,” Soetaert says. “He’s a warrior.”
The Tri-City Americans have re-assigned Dylan Fluter, 16, to the midget AAA Battlefords Stars. An eighth-round pick in the 2009 bantam draft, Fluter had 25 points and 43 penalty minutes in 43 games with the Stars last season.
The Prince George Cougars have signed three players -- G Tyler Santos, 16; G Devon Fordyce, 16; and, D Joseph Carvalho, 16. . . . Santos, from Sherwood Park, Alta., came over last season in the deal that sent F Marek Viedensky to the Saskatoon Blades. Santos, a 10th-round pick in the 2009 bantam draft, will spend this week with the Cougars and is expected to play against the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings before joining a midget AAA team in Alberta. . . . Fordyce, a sixth-round pick in 2009, is from Cochrane. He stopped 30 of 33 shots in a weekend exhibition game against the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Fordyce and Santos both are on Hockey Alberta’s shortlist for Team Pacific at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge that opens Dec. 29 in Winnipeg. . . . Carvalho, from Burnaby, B.C., was a fourth-round pick in the 2011 bantam draft. He had 71 points in 66 games with the bantam Burnaby Winter Club Bruins last season. This season, he will play for the major midget Vancouver-North West Giants.
The Stanley Cup-champion Chicago Blackhawks promoted five of their top executives on Tuesday, and that included Kevin Cheveldayoff (Brandon, 1986-90). Cheveldayoff, 40, now is the assistant general manager/senior director of hockey operations. He had his NHL playing career curtailed by injuries. Despite being only 40 years of age, he spent 12 seasons as GM of the Chicago Wolves before moving to the big club.
The AJHL has jumped onto the outdoor game bandwagon. The Drayton Valley Thunder and Fort McMurray Oil Barons will play outside on Nov. 26. The game will be played on MacDonald Island in Fort McMurray.
And now for something completely different. . . . If you’re wondering what Bill (Spaceman) Lee is up to these days, you should know that he pitched and won a game on Sunday. There’s more right here.

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